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NALCO land losers demand jobs; threaten to cut off water supply

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OST Bureau

Koraput, Jan 16:

Resentment is brewing here with land losers of the National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco) unit threatening to block water supply to the PSU and damage its conveyor belt if their demand for jobs is not fulfilled at the earliest.

Bhimadhar Khillo, president of Nalco Land Affected Persons’ Association (NLAPA), which is spearheading the agitation, said those who lost their homes and land during the setting up of the Damanjodi project were provided with jobs in the Damanjodi unit of the aluminium major during the setting up of the project in the early 80s. However, no permanent employment was provided to 428 families who had only lost their lands.

“As most of the tribals are illiterates, they misused the measly amount they received as compensation and are now struggling for their livelihood. We demand permanent jobs for at least one member each from the 428 families,” Khillo said.

He said they have placed their demand before the company authorities and the administration on several occasions, but nothing has happened so far. He further said that this time they were determined and would block water supply to Nalco and also damage its conveyor belt if their demands are not fulfilled.

Koraput sub-collector Samarth Verma said he has asked the association members to desist from taking law into their own hands while assuring them that their demands will be discussed at a meeting next week.